Despite the gloomy economic times, the future looks bright for physician entrepreneurship and bioinnovation. Spurred by a healthcare system in desperate need of new ideas and models, physician entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate and making a difference. They are creating new care delivery and business models, embracing healthcare social media and the Internet and are improvising when it comes to raising money, bootstrapping and improvising. Every week blogs, commentaries and the next "10 Best List" touts the accomplishments of physician-led companies that are changing the face of healthcare. The trends seem clear.
SoPE Box: Times are good for bioinnovation, entrepreneurs
- The future of healthcare depends not on more providers, but on more innovators. Bioentrepreneurship is the process of creating customer- or patient-defined value by creating, developing and commercializing biomedical or life science ideas, inventions or discoveries. It is an action-oriented enterprise that brings together a solution for big, unmet or unrecognized needs with a business model and plan that generates sustainable profits, led by a management team that can execute. Physicians are getting the knowledge, skills, abilities, networks and money to realize their dreams. Alternative nonclinical career development is growing. Medical students and residents are clamoring for education and training in bioentrepreneurship and training, creating business plan competitions in medical school and driving enrollment in combined MD/MBA programs and certificate and degree offerings in bioinnovation and entrepreneurship.
- Patients are taking more control of their care as well as the research agenda. Market-driven care and research and development is maturing. Websites for orphan diseases and research are growing, as is the economic clout of organizations demanding a seat at the table for underfunded government research funding. Crowd-sourcing is driving clinical trials. Crowd funding is propelling early stage companies hungry for early stage dollars to validate their ideas and move them to a less risky status acceptable to more traditional downstream funders like angels and venture capital.
- Bioenterprise is born global. When it comes to starting a biomedical company, research, supply chains, funding, clinical trials and manufacturing are international from the start. Access to care and technology flows to where it has the highest value, whether it be patients leaving home for care, advanced technologies getting to the marketplace faster because of less burdensome regulations or a entrepreneurial ecosystem that fosters and accelerates innovation.
Physician entrepreneurship is a growth industry. The status of healthcare is no longer quo and the future of biomedical innovation looks bright for all stakeholders. Those who position themselves to ride the wave will be able to bask in the knowledge that they have leveraged their abilities to take care of more patients, created wealth and improved the global standard of living.
Dr. Arlen MeyersProfessor of otolaryngology, engineering and dentistryUniversity of ColoradoFounder, CEO and presidentSociety of Physician Entrepreneurs
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